In Ho Chi Minh City visitors can discover a definitive Asian metropolis developing at lighting speed, while also experiencing the city’s more quintessentially Vietnamese side with markets, atmospheric temples and buzzing street food culture.

Formerly known as Saigon – a name still affectionately used by many locals – this is a city of intoxicating contrasts with a pace of life that far outstrips the capital of Hanoi.

As with any destination in Vietnam, one of the prime draws is the food scene. A rich variety of dining options is available at every level, from humble vendors to top flight restaurants. A city food tour is the best way to get a handle on street food, sampling classics such as hu tiu noodles, nem (spring rolls) and banh xeo (crispy pancakes stuffed with herbs, prawns, pork and beansprouts).

Tours of local markets, back street coffee shops and ancient pagodas reveal the city’s lesser seen side, while a sundowner at one of the chic skybars that crown bold skyscrapers shaping the city’s ever evolving skyline will provide the ultimate perspective on Saigon’s vast scale.

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